Whole Foods Salmonella Scare: Recall Issued Over Potentially Life-Threatening Contamination

American distribution chain Whole Foods Market, which specializes in natural and organic products, has issued another recall over fears some products may be contaminated with the potentially deadly bacteria, salmonella. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (USDA) reports that Marin Food Specialties, a manufacturer that supplies raw macadamia nuts to Whole Foods, is recalling packaged raw macadamia nuts sold in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington Whole Foods Market stores due to possible Salmonella contamination.

“The product was labeled as ‘Whole Foods Market Raw Macadamia Nuts’ and was packaged in 6 oz clear plastic tubs,” the report states. “The recalled products have ‘best by’ dates of 8/21/16 through 11/6/16, and a UPC code of 99948200132. The product was distributed only to Whole Foods Market stores in California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.”

Salmonella is the name of a group of bacteria. In the United States, it is the most common cause of foodborne illness. According to the CDC, Salmonella is found in raw poultry, eggs, beef and sometimes on unwashed fruits and vegetables. You can also become contaminated after handling pets, particularly reptiles like snakes, turtles, and lizards.

Symptoms include fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Most people get better without treatment. It may be more severe among the elderly, young children, and people with chronic diseases. If salmonella enters the bloodstream, it can be life-threatening. It is treated with antibiotics.

As of the time of this report, no illnesses have been reported, although tests on the raw macadamia nuts products revealed the presence of salmonella.

The FDA is urging customers who have purchased the listed products at Whole Foods Market stores in the above-mentioned states to throw them away. Customers will receive a full refund if they have a receipt. Those with questions or concerns are being directed to contact Marin Foods Specialties, Inc. at 925-634-6126. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PST.

It’s been a particularly rough month for Whole Foods, and this most recent recall marks the company’s sixth run-in with that particular bacteria this month alone, AOL reports. This new spate of recalls comes one week after the FDA warned Whole Foods about a Massachusetts food-prep facility whose cleanliness also gave health inspectors “serious concerns.”

Just last week, pasta salad, sold under the name “Whole Foods Pesto Pasta Salad w/Arugula” between June 15 and June 16 in Nevada, Arizona, and California, was recalled on suspicion of listeria contamination. According to Food Safety News, Green Cuisine recalled “Pesto Pasta Salad with Arugula” because it has the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.

This year has seen an alarming number of food recalls, and a particularly troubling recall occurred in May when CRF Frozen Foods announced that it was recalling all frozen fruits and vegetables produced in its Pasco, Washington, facility since May 2014. It was triggered by a listeria scare, and the recall affects all 50 states plus several Canadian provinces. CRF says the CDC “has identified seven people from three states who became ill and were hospitalized due to Listeria.” Some of these have been directly linked to consumption of CRF-produced products, and two people have died.

According to the CDC, “Listeria was not the cause of death in either person.”

A report from Yahoo Beauty revealed that Whole Foods is currently leading the list of companies who have been forced to recall foods, with dozens of store-brand products recalled since the beginning of 2014.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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